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for Grades 5-8

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For Grades 5-8 , week of Apr 06, 2020

1. Survivors Over 100!

The coronavirus can affect people of all ages, but doctors worry most about the elderly. In the hard-hit nation of Italy, however, two cases have given people hope and inspiration. A 102-year-old woman and a 101-year-old man have recovered from the virus after being hospitalized. The woman, Italica Grondona of Genoa, was hospitalized at the beginning of March with heart failure related to the virus and was released to a long-term care facility March 26. The man, identified only as “Mr. P,” was admitted to a hospital in Rimini two weeks ago and released a week later. Both lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, which killed up to 50-million people worldwide. Doctors nicknamed Grondona “Highlander the Immortal” and said she represents a hope for “all the elderly facing this pandemic.” According to the deputy mayor of Rimini, “Mr. P” has “seen everything: war, hunger, pain, progress, crisis and resurrections … and then at the age of over 100 years, fate brought him this new challenge.” According to the World Health Organization, elderly patients are at the highest risk of death among all corona victims. Although death totals are frightening, most people who get the coronavirus recover. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people who recovered. Use what you read to write a personal column summarizing the emotions they felt when they were sick with the virus.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Free Home Delivery

All over the nation people are stepping up to help others during the coronavirus emergency. In the state of New Jersey a man who delivers newspapers door to door has expanded his services. He now shops for elderly people on his route and delivers much needed food and supplies. And he does it all for free! Greg Dailey got the idea when he noticed that one of his elderly customers seemed afraid to leave her house even to pick up the newspaper. He figured that there might be others like her and put a notice in with the delivered newspapers offering his free delivery services. Soon so many people were calling Dailey that he enlisted his wife, his three teen and 20-something children and his mother-in-law to help. “To be honest, this is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” Dailey told the Washington Post newspaper. Across the nation, people are offering to help each other get through the coronavirus emergency. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about different ways people are helping. Then write a short editorial detailing the most important ways people could help each other in your community at this time.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Old, Old Sword

Sometimes a hunch can lead to a great discovery. It certainly did when a young archaeologist saw a sword on display at a monastery near the European city of Venice, Italy. The sword was labeled as being from the Middle Ages 500 to 900 years ago, but Vittoria Dall'Armellina had a hunch it was much older. She thought the 17-inch sword looked much more like weapons she had studied from the Bronze Age 4,000 years earlier. Two years later, research has confirmed she was right: The sword dates back almost 5,000 years and is among the oldest ever found. Chemical testing revealed that the metal in the sword was a type of bronze used between 4,000 and 3,000 BCE, which would make it almost 5,000 years old, CNN News reported. The sword is believed to been owned by a royal warrior and buried with him when he died. Archaeological discoveries give scientists new information about the weapons and tools people used in the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a discovery involving ancient tools or weapons. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend or teacher explaining what new information this discovery gave scientists and why that was important.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Nighty Night

With the city of Little Rock, Arkansas shut down from the coronavirus, members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra have found a way to connect with the community. Every night at 9 p.m. a member or group from the orchestra streams bedtime lullabies on Facebook. The program is called “Bedtime with Bach,” but the selections have featured a wide range of classical composers and even modern pop songs. According to the orchestra’s concertmaster, the performances will continue as long as people are self-quarantining and will feature individual recitals by every member of the 65-member ensemble. “When there’s a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, I think art and beauty are things that bring a lot of comfort,” harpist Alisa Coffey told the Washington Post newspaper. Many people are turning to art and music to relieve the stress of the coronavirus emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people doing this. Think like an art or music critic, and write a review of one effort, telling how the artistic effort offers beauty or entertainment to people, and how that can make them feel better.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5. Back in Action

With hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, the U.S. military is joining the battle. The Army is setting up field hospitals to handle overflow from city or state facilities, and two Navy hospital ships have been deployed to New York City and Los Angeles. On top of that, more than 9,000 retired Army medical personnel have volunteered to return to service to staff those facilities. The Army had reached out to retired service members to see how many would agree to step up, and the response has been “very, very positive,” Army officials said. “This extraordinary challenge requires equally extraordinary solutions, and our retired Army healthcare professionals have shown that they are capable of providing the highest level of care … under constantly changing conditions,” the Army said in a statement. Retired military personnel aren’t the only ones joining the battle against coronavirus. Retired doctors and nurses also are coming back to work, as well as people who provide other key services. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people who are coming out of retirement to help. Pretend you are one of these people and write a poem, rap or rhyme explaining “Why I Came Back.” Share with family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.